At Cornerstone, making the decision to shift our bookkeeping services and client base to cloud based accounting was monumental for many reasons.
Although we first had to convince ourselves and then our clients that cloud accounting is the way of the future, I’m delighted we made the transition.
We knew it was going to make a hugely positive impact on our productivity, operational costs and the way we worked as a company. Best of all? The cloud approach meant we were servicing our clients faster, better, stronger. We found our client relationships strengthened and processes and practices were streamlined.
If you’re still weighing up your options around leaving desktop accounting behind for the efficiency of cloud accounting, here are three steps you can take to get you started:
As a company, we are always looking to stay up-to-date on what is changing in the market. For the industry we are in, that change is cloud accounting. So we put our research hats on and asked ourselves these questions:
- How can cloud accounting benefit Cornerstone?
- How can it benefit our clients and the way we do business with them?
- Who are the key providers in the market?
- What features does each offering provide? Should I choose one provider or are there a couple of offerings in the market that would suit Cornerstone?
- Who is offering a pure and real cloud solution? Can I really sit on my iPad at the airport and access current data in real time?
We discovered the answers to these questions from speaking with our customers, other companies that had already made the switch and a number of providers. We spoke to one of the cloud accounting experts, Intuit QuickBooks, to make sure this was the right move for us then decided to take the next step.
2. Dip your toe in
Cloud accounting programs offer varying degrees of service levels. You can start with the basics and as your employees and clients get more used to doing business â€˜out there’, add functionalities right up to full financial management.
Or you can do what we did. Cornerstone made the decision to move our practice to the cloud before we moved our clients across. This gave us valuable firsthand experience. We adjusted internal processes as required and by the time we introduced it to our clients, we were living and breathing this new way of working. Yes, we dipped our toe in but that toe was definitely on the front foot. This decision allowed us to be proactive in educating our clients and the way we managed change with them.
Most importantly it allowed is to ensure a high level and continuity of service.
3. Lean right in
After doing all the groundwork, we leapt right in.
We knew our clients were looking to us to be their thought leaders and knowledge bank around cloud based accounting. The only way we could do this was to commit to the change and own it.
We took advantage of the ongoing support, training and development Intuit QuickBooks provide and as a result, client uptake was quick and relatively painless.
We then made a clear delineation around what we do. Cornerstone use the latest cloud accounting software and add-ons to streamline clients’ bookkeeping.
I love the saying “Do what you do best and delegate the restâ€. We focus on cloud accounting so we can provide a better offering. Cloud accounting was the logical step forward in terms of internal and external processes to keep our clients happy.
The shift from desktop accounting to cloud based accounting required change around process but also around mindset. As soon as the team made that psychological shift, the productivity shift followed closely behind.
And that is when client satisfaction and internal efficiency propelled itself into a whole new stratosphere.